Care for the Course and Consideration of Others
Rule 1.2 provides guidelines on the manner in which the game of golf should be played. If they are followed, all players will gain maximum enjoyment.
The overriding principle is that players are expected to play in the spirit of the game. Two key aspects of this are that players are expected to care for the course and show consideration for others.
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Before leaving a bunker, players should carefully fill up and smooth over all holes and footprints. If a rake is within reasonable proximity of the bunker, the rake should be used for this purpose.
Divots, Ball-Marks & Shoe Damage
Players should carefully repair any divot holes and any damage to the putting green made by the impact of a ball (whether or not made by the player himself).
On completion of the hole by all players in the group, damage to the putting green caused by golf shoes should be repaired.
Preventing Unnecessary Damage
Players and caddies should avoid causing damage to the course. For example:
- Avoid standing too close to the hole and take care when handling the flagstick and when removing a ball from the hole. Do not use the clubhead to remove a ball from the hole.
- Do not lean on a club on the putting green.
- If the flagstick has been removed, replace it in the centre of the hole.
- Follow any local notices regulating the movement of golf carts.
Prompt Pace of Play
You should play at a prompt pace throughout the round, including the time taken to:
- Prepare for and make each stroke,
- Move from one place to another between strokes, and
- Move to the next teeing area after completing a hole.
You should prepare in advance for your next stroke and be ready to play when it is your turn.
When its your turn to play:
- It is recommended that you make the stroke in no more than 40 seconds after you are (or should be) able to play without interference or distraction, and
- You should usually be able to play more quickly than that and are encouraged to do so.
If you think your ball may be lost outside a water hazard or is out of bounds, to save time, play a provisional ball.
No Disturbance or Distraction
You should always show consideration for other players on the course and take care not to not disturb their play by moving, talking or making unnecessary noise.
You should also ensure that any electronic devices taken onto the course don't distract other players.
Only tee your ball up when it's your turn to play and remember not to stand close to the ball, directly behind it, or directly behind the hole, when a player is about to swing.
On the Putting Green
On the putting green, you should be careful not stand on another player’s line of play or, when he or she is putting, cast a shadow over his or her line.
And you should remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have holed out.
In stroke play, if you're acting as a marker, on the way to the next tee you should, if necessary, check the score with the player concerned and record it.